Listen: Poker podcasts that aren't about toxic feuds, lies, and cheating

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Mo Afdhal
Posted on: March 28, 2023 04:59 PDT

Need a break? All this back and forth, he-said/he-said, meet-me-outside, toxic race to terrible got you down? Want to listen to a poker podcast about...dare we suggest it? Poker?

Here are some recent poker podcast episodes we enjoyed and how you can listen to them.

The Breakdown Poker Podcast - "Maybe Fedor Had To Do This? Maybe??"

This episode from The Poker Guys--Grant Denison and Jonathan Levy--kicks off with a ChatGPT generated opener. It's a hard sell from the AI, but a clever way to start an episode, a good hook. The true purpose of the episode is the breakdown of a hand between Fedor Holz and Nick Petrangelo in the recent $50,000 8-Handed Triton tournament in Vietnam.

On the surface, the hand plays out in an unusual way, but Denison and Levy do a fantastic job of digging in deeper for the listeners, seeking to understand the thought processes of each player. Together, they talk through every decision point of the hand. They take note of several factors such as stack depth, tournament stages, player pool tendencies, and much more. And they do this every episode. The analysis for this hand starts at 17:45 for those that want to jump right in.

Apple Podcasts Spotify Twitter

Sessions By DGAF - "Part of the Journey"

DGAF is a longtime grinder of the game, playing in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas poker scenes since 2007. Additionally, he's the host of Hustler Casino Live's Max Pain Monday and frequent commentator on the livestream.

In his Sessions podcast, DGAF reviews his own play in weekly sessions, going through hands of note and providing his thoughts on each one. The analysis is informal and tends to be more focused on game flow, but the insight is interesting nonetheless. DGAF expertly edits in the audio from the stream as a means of setting the scene throughout each hand. The format works perfectly because DGAF's commentary on the hands takes into account much more than just strategy.

The driving force of Sessions is DGAF's brutal honesty about his own experiences in poker. The highest highs, the crushing lows, for DGAF it's all on the table, not just the money. DGAF's honesty offers a breath of fresh air in an environment choked with glamorized results. It seems that, for DGAF, there is no fear of judgement from the outside.

This episode is free to listen to, but the entire catalog of Sessions is available on Patreon at differing paid subscription levels. If unsure about whether you want to become part of the community, listen to the free episode to get a better sense.

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Thinking Poker Podcast - "Episodes 398 & 399 - Justin Arnwine"

Andrew Brokos and Carlos Welch co-host the Thinking Poker Podcast, a weekly podcast dedicated to interviewing poker players from all walks of life, as well as advanced strategy discussion. Brokos is a longtime poker player, as well as an instructor with RedChipPoker and Tournament Poker Edge. Thinking Poker went live nearly ten years ago, providing a rich archive of episodes for listeners to fall back on.

In these episodes, Brokos and Welch interview Justin Arnwine, giving listeners a four hour insight into Arnwine's career in poker. The conversation with Arnwine in Episode 398 includes musings on his unmissable Hello Kitty outfits (and how that whole thing got started), playing ultra-tight at the start of his journey, how playing Yu-Gi-Oh! segued into playing poker, and the influences that his mother, an attorney and civil rights activist, had on him from an early age.

In Episode 399, Arnwine gives his thoughts on racial issues in poker, specifically when it comes to representation in media. The conversation is especially notable because it's held, mostly, between Arnwine and Welch, who are both black men. For the poker community, it's a much-needed glimpse into the lived experiences of two men that operate in a white-dominated industry. The discussion also touches on barriers to entry in poker, with Arnwine providing his thoughts on how to make the game more appealing to all players. This back-and-forth between Arnwine and Welch is a must listen for anyone that has real aspirations to grow the game.

These episodes can't be highlighted without mentioning that Arnwine's wife, Caitlyn Cobb, is interviewed in Episode 397. Her story, both in life and poker, is just as powerful as Arnwine's. And, yes, the tale of how they met is recapped, from both perspectives, for the listeners that can appreciate a little romance. The duo are one of poker's new powerhouse couples and players to watch in the coming years.

For those that want to hear more from Arnwine and Cobb, PokerOrg's Lee Jones sat down with the two for dinner at their home turf of MGM National Harbor.

Apple Podcasts Spotify Twitter Thinking Poker

The Chip Race Poker Podcast - "Season 19, Episode 6"

David Lappin and Dara O'Kearney's The Chip Race is arguably the most popular podcast on this list -- a Global Poker Award says as much -- and the Irish duo are well known personalities in the community with access to some of poker's greats.

In this episode, Lappin and O'Kearney move through a range of topics and guests. The pair revisit a Q&A from a past interview with Jason Koon, exploring exploitation of certain player types. Lappin and O'Kearney provide insight into their own experiences with player tendencies and resulting exploits.

From there, the conversation pivots to an interview with Loriann Persinger, a highlight of the episode. Persinger spoke on her recent 30th place finish at the WPT World Championship, a record high cash courtesy of a win in a Twitter giveaway run by Andrew Neeme. The conversation shifts at one point to Persinger's participation on game shows and how those experiences impacted her poker game. Notably, Persinger's final words are saved for shoutouts to other female poker players with recent big performances. It's a memorable interview featuring a notable new name to watch out for in the future.

Barry Carter then touches on the recent noteworthy news in poker. The comedic segment ranges from the Triton Vietnam series, to the PokerGo PLO series, to Carter's mea culpa regarding his opinions on Dan Bilzerian.

O'Kearney then breaks down a recent hand that he played in a tournament on the Irish Poker Tour. The opponent in the hand was a former student, Stephen Kehoe, making for an interesting dynamic throughout. The strategy talk continues from there to a segment featuring Irish poker legend Andy Black. Black and O'Kearney debate one another on GTO vs. white magic. The resulting conversation is a must listen.

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Winning the Game of Life - "Paving the Way For Women At the Poker Table Like A Bad-Ass"

Dan 'Jungleman' Cates' podcast on YouTube has, for the most part, flown under the radar thus far. The Winning the Game of Life podcast has been live for one year and represents the hidden gem portion of these episodes. Cates is a singularly unique personality and his perspective on the world, and poker, is on full display in the interviews he conducts. The relaxed attitude he brings allows guests to speak their minds on all manners of topics. This episode, featuring ACR Team Pro Ebony Kenney, is no exception.

Over the course of an hour, Cates and Kenney give their thoughts on a variety of topics. The highlights of the conversation include the stigmas women face at the table, Kenney's experience being the first woman at a Triton final table, and the emotional rollercoaster that ensues when battling against your poker idols. At one point, the conversation pivots to outfits worn at the poker table, a form of expression that both Cates and Kenney have mastered in their own ways. The discussed possibility of a "spice-off" between the two at this summer's WSOP is something to keep any eye out for.

Another bonus for listeners? Cates, or his editor, is thoughtful enough to timestamp the entire interview, allowing for audiences to jump between topics with ease.

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Suggestions Welcome

As mentioned, the podcast landscape is saturated with content. It's not easy to listen to every single episode that airs. If you listen to a podcast episode that you deem worthy of highlighting, reach out and suggest it to PokerOrg.